Saying that Vic Lindal has a zest for life, boundless energy and a sense of adventure would be mere understatements. Freshly back from scuba diving in Wakatobi Marine Park, Indonesia, Vic is full of enthusiasm about his new experiences: "It has to be the best dive trip ever. The most fantastic coral, sponges and fish. The life under water was truly from another world."
Vic is the kind of person who soaks up everything that an experience has to offer. It was the first time he viewed, amongst others, lion fish, flat head crocodile fish, sea snakes and, in particular, a pygmy seahorse; so small the guide had to point it out or he may have missed it. He loved the attention to detail that was offered to the divers and the quality of the dive briefings, which, being one to want every possible scrap of information, Vic very much appreciated. Clad in a light full or shorty wet suit, he'd spend about 60 or 70 minutes on a dive; wall dives mostly of some 80 feet [24 m] or so.
Vic considers this a dive trip of synchronicity. A while back, his dive buddies and he were at an event, which involved underwater filming, and one of them won a prize: diving in Wakatobi. Time went by and, eventually, they decided to make good on the offer and asked Vic to come along. Naturally, he jumped at the chance; through some fortunate timing and arrangements, he was able to go.
Ever ready for an adventure or new experience, Vic embraces all the opportunities that come his way, and if they don't come, he creates them. Not a victim of what he calls AADD, Adult Adventure Deficit Disorder, he urges others not to become afflicted by it. "I hear people say things like, someday I would like to take that trip or do some particular thing. But when the time comes they are not prepared or fit enough to take that adventure," he says. "It is my crusade," he affirms, "to help people get on with their lives and have adventures."
Vic's adventures run the gamut from cycling with his grandchildren, to scuba diving in tropical waters, seeking out his Icelandic roots, or hunting for trilobites and much more. One of the biggest commitments he's made is to "be fit for my grandchildren" of which he has 10. "I want to be fit for the experience," he says. But whatever that experience happens to be, Vic will embark on it with the grandchild in question from the moment the idea is sparked. "We do the research into the project from the beginning to the end," he says, and they plan it carefully and visualize what it is they want to achieve. For instance, a recent adventure involved teaching two of his grandchildren how to cycle distances. All three set times for the coaching and learned everything about the skill of cycling, rules of the road, equipment etc. before undertaking the first journey from Victoria to Mill Bay, via the ferry.
Always emphasizing the positive, Vic thrives on planning these adventures with his grandchildren. He carries this enthusiasm through to his other activities, some of which include refereeing volleyball and basketball teams. And, he has a tip for parents who have children participating in sports, "always carry a notebook while you are out there watching your children and write down all the things that they did well. Make these known to the children and help them relive all the positive experiences they had rather than the negative ones."
Vic works as a personal coach and, over the past 17 years, he's travelled far and wide delivering motivational speeches and consulting with a myriad of organizations and individuals. "I enjoy it and will continue to do it - there's no reason not to," he says. He makes sure that his speaking skills don't become rusty by participating at Toastmasters, "your skills will fall through your fingers and you don't notice they are gone," he warns, "so stay sharp." After all, when you make presentations, people expect you to do well and besides you are always evaluated, he adds.
Vic's been a sports consultant for the Government of British Columbia and as a teacher, taught Math, P.E. and Special Education in Vancouver. But one of his favourite accomplishments was coaching the National Canadian Women's Volleyball team from 1969-1977. He says his goal then, which he achieved, was to become the best team in North America.
A more recent goal was achieved when Vic and another granddaughter took the B.C. Parks and Recreation Fitness Instructor course together. They met regularly to go over the material and exercise and eventually received their strength training certificates. "We had to do a practical and we were tested together. We might be the only grandpa and granddaughter strength training combo," he laughs.
Raised in Cordova Bay, Vic comes by his boundless energy through his parents who were both very interested in exercise, good nutrition and loved badminton. Vic's dad was about 65 when Vic finally beat him at a contest the two had had going for some years - walking on their hands across the lawn at Royal Roads.
Some moments in Vic's life might be recognized as relaxation: he loves to read books that are not part of his current studies, and he meditates every morning. And, "I'm a good dancer," he says, adding with a laugh "I'm working on my modesty!"
Vic's future goals include completing a bicycle adventure, with another granddaughter, from Nanaimo to Qualicum, diving at Cayman Brac, men's volleyball and "to continue inspiring the clients I have and new ones that come into my life and provide guidance so they can follow their life paths." But what if people don't know what it is they want to do? Vic says, write down all the things you don't like or don't want to do, and then write a list of the opposites. Ask yourself what each of those things is going to look like. As for Vic, he definitely doesn't want to climb Mt. Everest, but he does want to do some back country camping. Being fit for the experience is the key, according to Vic, in terms of the physical, mental and spiritual.
Looking out at the grey, wind-blown ocean at Ogden Point, Vic compares the scene to his view of life, "you can see the ripples on the ocean and there's not much there, you have to plunge in and, there, a whole other world is opened up. But, if you want to see the fine details you need a guide."
To read more about Vic Lindal's adventures, visit www.viclindal.ca
SENIOR LIVING - JUNE 2009 VANCOUVER ISLAND
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